Hidden Danger in the Highlands

From last night's rescue operation.

From last night's rescue operation. Photo/Magnús Kristjánsson

Vala Hafstað

If you plan to drive in the central highlands in Iceland this winter, make sure you know of a hidden danger on the way, which could be life-threatening.

A Dodge pickup truck sank into a 2 to 3-m-deep (6-10 feet-deep) pool, or lagoon, of slush Friday on the Sigölduleið highland road (F208), near Hnausapollur maar, at Fjallabak in the Icelandic highlands, mbl.is reports. The vehicle was successfully pulled out of the pool around midnight, last night.

Magnús Kristjánsson was among those who assisted in retrieving the vehicle. He posted an account of the incident on Facebook, in hopes of preventing others from getting stuck.

Photo/Magnús Kristjánsson

“There is a depression in the landscape, which gets clogged in winter and fills with water. In the summer, it’s dry, or just a small puddle. People drive along the road, using GPS or following a staked trail, not knowing what’s ahead.”

He states that the Dodge was well equipped for driving in the highlands, but that these kinds of slush pools are hard to avoid. They remain hidden until you land in them.

“You keep driving along hard-packed snow until, all of a sudden, the ice gives way.”

In March of last year, two vehicles landed in a pool of slush at the exact same location. You can see pictures from that incident here . Magnús advises travelers in the area to use a detour, called Krapaleiðin, which takes you along the nearby mountain slopes and allows you to avoid the slush.

Map

Eiður Smári Valsson posted this map on his Facebook page in March of last year, showing the location of the dangerous pool of slush, marked in blue with an image of a swimmer.

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